Can’t put your phone down on holiday? The Isle of Man might be your best bet for a digital detox.
The island has announced a new initiative for 2020, allowing visitors to lock their phones away for the duration of the trip. No peaks at Instagram, no “urgent” work emails – no excuses. Instead, you exchange your beloved smartphone for a range of “analogue” items, like a guidebook, a film camera, a map, bird books, a set of binoculars for scouring the sea for marine life, a travel journal and some playing cards.
With the rise of freelance and self-employed work as well as the digital ‘always-on’ culture, vacations have become work-cations. But in the Isle of Man, guests can be effectively forced off their phones and back into the world. The initiative comes in the wake of research carried out by the island, which found that 74 per cent of Brits surveyed found digital distractions prevented them from switching off on holiday, while more than half continue to work on holiday for fear of getting behind. The Phoneboxes (pun alert) will be on a first come, first served basis.
Stunning natural landscapes
Situated between the coastlines of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, in the middle of the Irish Sea, this seabound kingdom is rightly proud of its diverse culture and fascinating heritage, stretching back for thousands of years. With an extensive coastline, stunning natural landscapes and panoramic beaches, the Isle of Man is a destination within easy reach of the rest of the British Isles. You don’t even have to fly – or change money.
The Isle of Man is the only whole nation to be awarded UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, as of 2016. That recognises the island as one of the best places in the world to get back to nature. With its extensive coastline and unspoilt beaches, it’s also a hot spot for marine life.
Angela Byrne, Head of Visit Isle of Man, says: “We want to encourage our visitors to disconnect, switch off and step away from digital distractions in order to disassociate from work and social media and concentrate better on surroundings. By installing Phoneboxes in glamping locations around the Island, this will help people escape from everyday life and embrace the many activities that the Island has to offer as well as spending time connecting with each other, without relying on technology for entertainment or communication.
The boxes will be located at specific rural Island retreats, designed to help visitors get back to nature: Knockaloe Beg Farm and Glen Helen Glamping.
Byrne adds: “From our impressive network of heritage railways, medieval castles and heritage sites, to our 18 beautiful national glens, long stretching coastlines and country walks that produce vistas which take your breath away, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Although life without a phone can seem daunting at first, there’s nothing that cannot be solved the good old-fashioned way.”
To book your mobile-free stay on the Island in Spring 2020, please e-mail, email@example.com
By Harriet Marsden